Friday, April 10, 2009

Holiday Play

I was asked to write a holiday play last November by my then case manager Demitri and the following is what I came up with. It was nvere performed as the actors (except for Erin and Demitri) refused to learn their lines.

The play takes place in a hotel lobby. The sofa is up center stage, and all 4 of the chairs are situated in a manner that the actors seated in them can be clearly seen from the audience. At the beginning Residents 1,2, and 3 are already seated, waiting. Resident 2 is female.
Stage is dark at the start. Enter Resident's 1, 2, and 3 into they're respective seats. One seat closest to the sofa is empty. Music comes up. Lights up.
Enter from stage left Demitri. She closes the two doors, then takes a seat on the sofa.
RESIDENT 2: Hi Demitri.
RESIDENT 3: Waaassss Uuuuppp!
Enter Erin from down stage right. She turns off the television and takes a seat opposite Demitri on the sofa.
ERIN: Hi everyone. Sorry we're late.
RESIDENT 3: So what else is new?
DEMITRI: Very funny (Name of RESIDENT 3, the actor who plays this part). Okay, who wants to start?
RESIDENT 1: Don't we get any snacks?
DEMITRI: This is a support group, not movie day or a party.
RESIDENT 2: I'll go first!
ERIN: Okay (Name of RESIDENT 2). What's the best three things that have happened in your life during the last week?
RESIDENT 2: Well, let's see. One of the people at the Hippie Kitchen gave me these new shoes for Christmas. Aren't they nice? (she lifts up her feet for inspection. The shoes don't look all that new).
ERIN: Yes, they're very nice.
RESIDENT 3: They don't look new.
RESIDENT 2: I think they're very nice, and they feel good.
DEMITRI: They're fine (name of RESIDENT 2). What else?
RESIDENT 2: I passed my on line electrical engineering course a couple of days ago, and they gave me a virtual diploma.
ERIN: Really?!
DEMITRI: Wow, that's great (name of RESIDENT 2). I had no idea.
RESIDENT 3: That really is good. You can make a lot of money in that field.
RESIDENT 2: Really?! I hadn't thought about that. It's just a hobby. Now I've got a certificate of completion for under water demolition, jockeying race horses, and how to make a super computer in two hundred and fifty seven easy steps!
RESIDENT 1: Geezz.
ERIN: That's very impressive. How long did it take to do all of that?
RESIDENT 2: The Jockey course was kind of tricky, but the rest was a breeze, oh about two years in all. My teachers say I'm a very good student.
DEMITRI: (amazed) My gosh... I spent six years in college...
RESIDENT 2: Oh yeah, I almost forgot, for my third thing... I won forty thousand dollars in the mega lotto, so I'm taking my mother to Rio De Janeiro for Christmas.
All the actors are clearly dumbstruck.
ERIN: Wow, you really had a good week (name of RESIDENT 2. RESIDENT 2 beams with happiness).
DEMITRI: I should say so. (clears her throat) Well, let's move on. (name of RESIDENT 3), what's the best three things that have happened to you?
RESIDENT 3: (looking at RESIDENT 2) I got out of jail yesterday (turns to the case managers), that was pretty good.
ERIN: I was wondering where you've been.
RESIDENT 3: Yeah, (looks back at RESIDENT 2) and I was told I could get back on GR in three months... and my dad sent me a check for five bucks for Christmas. (turns back to the case managers)
DEMITRI: Er, what may I ask, were you in jail for?
RESIDENT 3: Sure, I don't mind. What ever we say here is confidential, right?
DEMITRI: Of course, except in some extreme cases of admitting child abuse, threats of suicide, or planning to violently overthrow the government.
RESIDENT 3: Oh, it wasn't anything like that. I was arrested for malicious mongering.
Erin mouths the words "malicious mongering," while...
DEMITRI: Malicious mongering, I've never heard of it. What's that?
RESIDENT 3: It's mongering that's malicious. (holds up his hand with four fingers, and states happily) Fourth time.
DEMITRI: I see. (clears her throat again) Okay, that was your three things. Thank you for sharing. How about you (name of RESIDENT 1)?
RESIDENT 1: I woke up this morning.
RESIDENT 3: (sighs) Are you sure? You could still be in bed sleeping, and this is all a dream.
RESIDENT 1: Pretty sure. You really have to report cases of trying to violently overthrow the government?
DEMITRI: Yes, I do.
RESIDENT 1: I better not say anything more then. What's the best three things that have happened to you Demitri?
DEMITRI: Well...
There is a soft knock at the door stage left. It opens, and Resident 4 sticks his head in and looks around.
RESIDENT 4: Hi. What's going on?
ERIN: We're having our support group. Would you like to join us?
RESIDENT 4: Do you have to report instances of trying to violently overthrow the government?
ERIN: Why yes, we do.
RESIDENT 4: Then no thanks. Merry Christmas everybody, and viva the Revolution! (exits)
DEMITRI: (to Erin) Well I never thought that would ever be much of an issue.
ERIN: Me either.
They both look at Resident 1 searchingly. He withers.
RESIDENT 1: Ah, so you were saying, Demitri.
DEMITRI: What was I saying?
ERIN: Your three best things?
DEMITRI: Oh, yes. Well, let's see... My two dogs got out of the hospital, finally. They seem to be alright, and I'm very happy to have them back home.
RESIDENT 2: What was the matter with your dogs, Demitri?
DEMITRI: They got beaten up by the animal next door.
RESIDENT 2: Oh, I'm so sorry! They weren't hurt badly, were they?
ERIN: I'm sorry to hear that, I didn't know.
DEMITRI: Not real bad. Just a lot of cuts and bruises. The vet cost me a bundle though.
RESIDENT 3: What kind of dogs are they?
DEMITRI: A Chow, and German Shepard.
RESIDENT 3: Wow! Those are fairly big dogs. What kind of dog did that to your two dogs?
DEMITRI: It's not important.
RESIDENT 3: No, I'd really like to know. A pit bull? I bet it was a pit bull, wasn't it?
DEMITRI: (sighs) No, it wasn't a pit bull.
RESIDENT 3: A doberman?
RESIDENT 2: A Rottweiler?
RESIDENT 1: A crazed Dalmatian?
ERIN: A pack of scavenger Chihuahuas? What was it Demitri?
DEMITRI: (looks down into her lap) It was a (lowers her voice and can't be heard)
RESIDENT 3: I'm sorry, didn't quite get that.
DEMITRI: (looks up) It was orange Tabby, okay? Happy now?
RESIDENT 1, 2, 3, ERIN: A what?!
DEMITRI: You heard me! Now let's change the subject.
RESIDENT 1: A cat beat up your two big dogs?! (All three residents begin to laugh. Erin holds her hand to her mouth to keep from laughing)
DEMITRI: (Indignant) It's not very funny. They could have been hurt a lot worse.
RESIDENT 2: I'm sorry, Demitri.
RESIDENT 1: It sounds really funny though, you've got to admit.
DEMITRI: No I don't, and it's not. Now what's the three best things that have happened to you, Erin.
ERIN: Huum. I'm looking forward to going back to New Jersey next week, and seeing my family and friends...
RESIDENT 1: I thought you just got back from there a little while ago, at Thanksgiving.
ERIN: Oh yes, I did.
RESIDENT 1: Geez, you spend more time there than Governor Corizine and Tony Soprano.
DEMITRI: (still angry) But that's next week. What's the three best things that have happened last week?
ERIN: Well, I've gone to a few parties lately. A Moving In party for one of my friends, and another party for another friend who was moving out...
RESIDENT 3: Your friends seem to migrate a lot.
ERIN: Only when they're moving around.
RESIDENT 3: I see.
DEMITRI: Alright, let's move on. (Resident 2), you're going to Rio with your mom for Christmas?
RESIDENT 2: That's right.
DEMITRI: (to Erin) And you're going back east.
ERIN: Right.
DEMITRI: But not before we do the Holiday Play, right?
ERIN: Oh no, of course not. I'm looking forward to it very much.
RESIDENT 2: Yeah, I can't wait to see it.
RESIDENT 1: A play? there's going to be a holiday play? Really?
ERIN: Sure. Do you want to be in it?
RESIDENT 1: (figiting) Ah, err, no I can't. I really can't afford to be seen in public.
DEMITRI: Why not?
RESIDENT 1: Uuuumm, no particular reason... just because...
DEMITRI: Anyway, what are you going to do for Christmas, (Resident 3)?
RESIDENT 3: Me? Why I'm going to go out... cash that check my dad sent me, and part... ah, conduct myself in a responsible celebratory manner in keeping with the Christmas spirit.
ERIN: You're not going to spend all of it, are you?
RESIDENT 3: Oh no, of course not. Got to put some away for a rainy day, you know.
ERIN: Very good.
DEMITRI: And you, (Resident 1)? What are your Christmas plans?
RESIDENT 1: I'm going to stay here, eat Christmas dinner with everybody, then continue in my efforts toward world domination.
ERIN: I see. Well, at least you won't be alone on Christmas. That's the important thing. Demitri, what are you doing for Christmas?
DEMITRI: Oh, I'll spend the day with my family, then I'll go back home to tend to my poor dogs.
Resident 1 starts to snicker at the mention of the dogs, until Demitri shoots him a particularly strident look, which shuts him up right smartly.
ERIN: Can I safely assume that there is no one in this room that is Jewish?
If all the actors are black, they give Erin a curious look back.
ERIN: Okay, I was just wondering what Christmas meant to each of you. What does Christmas mean to you, (Resident 2)?
RESIDENT 2: Oh, I don't know. I like getting presents, and giving them. I like taking the day off, and all of the food, and the beach at the Copacabana.
ERIN: UmmHuum. And how about you, (Resident 1)? What do you like about Christmas?
RESIDENT 1: Usually that the authorities are off guard. Other than that, football, and food.
RESIDENT 2: What about you, Erin? What does Christmas mean to you?
ERIN: Oh, I love Christmas. I look forward to it every year. I get filled with the Christmas spirit. I love to decorate my house, go out and buy a nice big tree and put ornaments and tinsel all over it. I like to shop for presents for my friends and family. Make Christmas cards and write Christmas poems all over them. I like to drive around on Christmas Eve and look at all the houses with decorations. I like to listen to Christmas songs and jingles. I like all the food we have near Christmas Day. I even cooked my very first turkey this year for the Thanksgiving Party we had.
RESIDENT 1: I remember that. It was the best turkey I've ever had, really. I can't believe it was your first.
RESIDENT 3: Yeah, that was some damn goo... I mean great turkey!
RESIDENT 2: At the party? Yes, I agree. That was great turkey!
RESIDENT 1: I think you've been secretly cooking turkey's for years, and you're just being coy.
ERIN: (beams) Oh, don't you lie to me! I swear, that was my very first turkey. Honest.
DEMITRI: (sour, mouths the words "my very first turkey") What about the mashed potatoes? Didn't you like those?
RESIDENT 3: They were okay.
RESIDENT 2: Very nice.
RESIDENT 2: Very nice.
RESIDENT 1: Damn good turkey though.
ERIN: (very pleased) Why thank you. All of you.
RESIDENT 2: Go on Erin. What else do like about Christmas?
ERIN: Oh, I like leaving cookies out for Santa and Rudolf, then waking up early to what see they brought...
RESIDENT 1: Santa?
ERIN: Then playing with all my new presents, and... that's about it.
RESIDENT 2: Wow, you really like Christmas!
ERIN: Yes, I do.
RESIDENT 2: What about you Demitri?
DEMITRI: I like...
The door opens and Rick Joyce enters. He takes the empty seat near the couch.
RICK: Hi everybody. Sorry I'm late.
ERIN: That's okay, we're glad to have you. How's Harvey?
RICK: Oh, he's always fine.
RESIDENT 2: Who's Harvey?
ERIN: (gives Resident 2 a warning look) He's Rick's special friend
RICK: A pooka.
RESIDENT 2: A pooka?
RICK: Yeah, a big one. Six feet, three and a half inches.
ERIN: Harvey's a rabbit, correct?
RICK: A white one, yeah.
ERIN: That no one else can see.
RICK: I see him. He's my best friend.
ERIN: And you're taking your meds, right?
RICK: Of course.
ERIN: Are you ready for Christmas?
RICK: As ready as I'll ever be, I guess. Christmas kind of sneaks up on you.
DEMITRI: How's the play coming?
RICK: It's getting there, getting there. Sorry its taken so long, but its so hard to come up with ideas for a Holiday Play when you're bosses won't kick in any money for it, you know?
RESIDENT 2: You're writing the play, Rick?
RICK: Trying to, but those cheap bastards Evelyn and what's his name, DICK?
ERIN: Craig.
RICK: Yeah, whatever. How am I supposed to write a decent play without props, costumes, or even a set?! (Resident 2), how am I?
RESIDENT 2: I don't know.
RICK: Yeah, neither do I. (to Demitri and Erin) Don't they have any Christmas spirit? Huh? Don't they?
DEMITRI: Just do the best you can, Rick.
RICK: (sour) Well, I'll try I guess. Craig and Evelyn Grinch. (to Resident 2) They ruined the Thanksgiving Play you know! Must have something against pilgrims and turkeys. Oh, by the way Erin, that was the greatest turkey I ever had...
ERIN: Oh, Rick...
DEMITRI: All right, I've had enough. Come on guys, I'll sign your tracking sheets in my office. (she exits)
RESIDENT 1: Alright. (exits)
RESIDENT 2: Okay, goodbye Rick. (exits)
RICK: See you later.
ERIN: Don't you want your tracking sheet signed?
RICK: I'll turn it in later, thanks Erin.
ERIN: Alright. have a great day. (exits)
RICK: (brooding) Have a great day.
The door opens by itself, then closes.
RICK: (looks up) Oh hi, Harvey. Where have you been? You don't say? I agree, that was good turkey. The best you ever had? Yeah, that's exactly what I said. (stands). What about the play? You have an idea. Support group? Well, that might be a good idea. Hey, let's go get some lemonade and talk about it. Sure, we can. (puts arm around Harvey's shoulders). After you.
Harvey and Rick exit.
End music. Lights fade.

No comments:

Post a Comment